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A backpack coach: Is there actually a market for this?

Screenshot of a gear list template created for John and Anna, who are new to Colorado and planning to backpack this summer in the Rockies and on the John Muir Trail

Screenshot of a gear list template created for John and Anna, who are new to Colorado and planning to backpack this summer in the Rockies and on the John Muir Trail

This year I have quietly coached a handful of individuals who sought my help for their upcoming backpacking trips.

  • Jessica completed the Colorado Trail in July.
  • Ambitious teens Hannibal and James flew over from the UK for an adventure in the High Sierra.
  • John, Bill, and Stephen & Diane are preparing for thru-hikes next year of the Pacific Northwest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail, respectively. And,
  • John & Anna are new to Colorado and planning to backpack this summer in the Rockies and on the John Muir Trail.

I’ve been pleased with the results. It’s been a chance for me to personally engage with members of the backpacking community, which is an experienced I missed this year since I did not guide any trips. It afforded time to provide in-depth information and feedback. And it helped pay for some Christmas gifts and car repairs without having to travel.

So today I made my coaching services more front-and-center on my website, hoping that it might generate some more interest. At least for the time being, however, I’m not planning to quit my day job: The blog will remain my primary concern; in the spring I will likely do some gear clinics when the second edition of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide is released (pre-order now); and I may even schedule a few guided trips for late-summer.

Lean more: Coaching services and prices

3 Responses to A backpack coach: Is there actually a market for this?

  1. Joel Horn December 24, 2016 at 8:53 am #

    Knowledge and skills are very important. I am sure this is a great service. As a former member of a MRT it is the people that THINK they know everything that get are most likely to get into trouble.
    Though I have quite a bit of wilderness experience having actually grown up in the wilderness, recently when my wife and I went to Alaska I agreed to take a guided tour of a glacier because it is one thing I had never done. It is one thing to get my own butt in trouble thinking I knew more than I did, but taking my wife along would have been criminal.

  2. David January 20, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    I will probably take you up on a couple hours consultation in planning a hike in Glacier National Park this summer. I’ll have some time constraints and it’s actually kind of tough finding a suitable loop in the park through internet planning.

    • Andrew Skurka January 21, 2017 at 7:22 am #

      Loops are tough in Glacier, but they are out there, especially if you feel confident wandering off-trail to connect two trails.

      Give me a holler when you want to chat.

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